Skip to main content

When talking about system reliability, the use of distribution automation (DA) across our lines is regularly at the forefront of the conversation. Since its implementation over a decade ago, DA has become an essential tool in ensuring an efficient outage response. Its ability to quickly pinpoint the cause of an outage and isolate it on the lines minimizes the number of impacted members, as well as enables a faster restoration process. Still, DA requires the assistance of another Co-op resource to effectively serve its purpose – Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA). 

Both DA and SCADA are reactive in terms of their response to an outage, but how they differ is in the role they play in restoration. Where the work of DA is more external – recognizing an issue on the system, then attempting to backfeed electricity to reduce the severity of an outage – SCADA works internally, communicating the information it receives from the system to accurately inform DEC employees about the situation at hand and how they may best proceed in getting the lights back on. According to SCADA engineer Dan Niblett, the Co-op’s SCADA system serves as the response team’s first notice of an issue on the lines.

“Typically, we know there is an outage before the phone starts ringing, because we have already received the alert from SCADA,” Niblett says. “When there is an outage, data is reported back through our SCADA system, and SCADA sends data to our Outage Management System (OMS), which alerts our dispatch team to the issue.” 

Just as the Co-op incorporates the skills and talents of its entire team of employees in its mission to provide the most reliable power possible, it also relies on its DA and SCADA technologies, working in unison, to streamline its restoration efforts.

Start Service

Start or Transfer Service

We are committed to providing safe, reliable and competitively priced energy services.

Get Started with Delaware Co-op.